NATIONAL NEWS

Majority Of NY Assembly Would Oust Cuomo If He Doesn’t Quit

Aug 4, 2021, 2:23 PM
New York Attorney General Letitia James (C) and Independent investigators Anne L. Clark (L) and Joo...
New York Attorney General Letitia James (C) and Independent investigators Anne L. Clark (L) and Joon H. Kim (R) present the findings of an independent investigation into accusations by multiple women that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo sexually harassed them on August 3, 2021 in New York City. Independent investigators Joon H. Kim and Anne L. Clark concluded that the Governor sexually harassed multiple women. (Photo by David Dee Delgado/Getty Images)
(Photo by David Dee Delgado/Getty Images)

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — A majority of state Assembly members support beginning impeachment proceedings against Gov. Andrew Cuomo if he doesn’t resign over investigative findings that he sexually harassed at least 11 women, according to an Associated Press count Wednesday.

At least 82 of the body’s 150 members have said publicly or told The AP that they favored initiating the process of ousting the third-term Democratic governor if he doesn’t quit. A simple majority of Assembly members is needed to authorize an impeachment trial.

Cuomo has denied that he made any inappropriate sexual advances and insisted the findings didn’t reflect the facts. But while political pressure grew, so did the potential for criminal charges against Cuomo, who basked in national attention last year as the blunt-but-relatable voice of fighting the coronavirus in an early U.S. hotspot, only to see his political future imperiled a year later.

District attorneys in Manhattan, suburban Westchester and Nassau counties and the state capital of Albany said they asked for investigative materials from the inquiry, overseen by Democratic state Attorney General Letitia James.

James’ investigation found that Cuomo had violated civil laws against sexual harassment. Making no conclusions about whether he should be criminally charged, investigators left the door open for local prosecutors to bring cases.

“We are reviewing the deeply disturbing findings,” said Joyce A. Smith, the acting district attorney in Long Island’s Nassau County. She pledged her office would “thoroughly and expeditiously investigate any potential crimes” that happened there.

After James released her report Tuesday, Democrats from the statehouse to the White House called for Cuomo to go, with President Joe Biden saying the governor should resign. But he showed no signs of heeding them, saying that some episodes described in the report never happened, others were misconstrued or mischaracterized and the whole exercise was tainted.

“Politics and bias are interwoven throughout every aspect of this situation,” he said in a recorded video response.

Assembly Democrats, who lead the chamber, debated virtually for hours Tuesday about whether to impeach the governor now, wait to see whether he resigns, or give the Assembly Judiciary Committee time to wrap up its wide-ranging investigation into topics from sexual misconduct to the Cuomo administration’s monthslong obfuscation of the total number of nursing home residents who died from COVID-19.

At least 40 of the Assembly members who say they are ready to start impeachment proceedings are Democrats.

As New York went through a harrowing coronavirus surge in spring 2020, Cuomo’s daily briefings garnered him fans around the country and an International Emmy Award. Casting himself as a tough-minded yet compassionate leader who steered the state through its biggest public health emergency in a century, the governor even wrote a book about it.

Now, that book itself is among the focuses of investigations into Cuomo, with James examining the role some of his aides played in producing it.

As complaints and investigations accumulated in recent months, Cuomo became an embattled but unabashed figure. He often still touts the state’s handling of the pandemic despite now-rising infection rates amid a national surge in the more infectious delta variant.

If the Assembly votes to impeach Cuomo, the state Senate could launch an impeachment trial “in weeks,” Deputy Majority Leader Mike Gianaris told The Associated Press.

Gianaris, a Democrat, said the chamber has been preparing for a potential impeachment trial for months.

“We’ll be ready to go if and when the impeachment articles are sent over,” he said. “It could happen very quickly.”

The 150-member Assembly would need 76 votes to impeach Cuomo and send articles of impeachment to the Senate. The Assembly includes 106 Democrats, 43 Republicans and one Independent.

At least two dozen Assembly Democrats called for impeachment in public statements issued Tuesday, according to a tally compiled by The Associated Press. Some said the Assembly should vote for impeachment now, while others said the chamber should impeach Cuomo if he doesn’t resign.

Assembly Republican Leader Will Barclay urged Speaker Carl Heastie, a Democrat, to convene an emergency special session to vote to impeach Cuomo.

James’ investigation, conducted by two outside lawyers, painted what she called a “clear picture” of a governor who touched or made sexually inappropriate comments to a series of women, many of whom worked for him. One is a state trooper whom Cuomo successfully sought to have assigned to his security detail.

While many of the allegations against Cuomo involve verbal comments, some women have also alleged that he gave them unwanted kisses or touches. One aide said the governor reached under her shirt and groped her breast at the governor’s mansion in Albany.

The governor denied Tuesday that he ever inappropriately touched anyone, said that he never intended harm and cast doubt on the political motivations of investigators, accusers and critics.

To date, Cuomo has rebuffed calls to step down and has moved ahead with plans to run for a fourth term in 2022.

___

Associated Press writers Jennifer Peltz in New York, David Klepper in Providence, R.I., and Mike Catalini in Trenton, N.J., contributed.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

National News

MIAMI, FLORIDA - SEPTEMBER 23: Ice cream is for sale in a Ben & Jerry's store on September 23, ...
WILSON RING Associated Press

Ben & Jerry’s ice cream fight in Israel heats up

The Vermont-based ice cream maker Ben & Jerry's is suing its corporate parent Unilever over a plan that would allow its product to be sold in east Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank.
20 hours ago
This aerial image taken from video, show damage to the Georgia Guidestones monument near Elberton, ...
JEFF AMY Associated Press

Georgia monument bombed after candidate called it ‘satanic,’ called for demolition

A rural Georgia monument has been bombed, damaging one of four granite panels weeks after GOP candidate claimed they were "satanic" and called for their demolition.
20 hours ago
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 30: Bruce Horak and Ethan Peck attend the Paramount+'s "Star Trek: Stran...
Associated Press

Star Trek’s ‘Strange New Worlds’: In defense of episodic TV

Two generations after its 1966 debut, the universe of “Star Trek” has become a vast and sprawling mural in these heady days of streaming TV.
20 hours ago
FILE...
Vince Rodriguez, KOAT

Woman arrested after stealing car with 2 children inside

One woman has been arrested after police say she stole a car with children inside on July 4, in New Mexico.
20 hours ago
CULVER CITY, CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 27: The TikTok logo is displayed outside a TikTok office on August...
Cary Schwanitz

TikTok sued following young girls’ deaths after taking ‘blackout challenge’

Two families filed lawsuits against the social media giant TikTok last week alleging its algorithms were responsible for the deaths of two young daughters who took part in the “blackout challenge” according to a Los Angeles Times report.
20 hours ago
FILE: NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JUNE 29: A sparse crowd watches a fireworks show at Coney Island as part...
Amir Vera and Rob Frehse, CNN

A tip from a ‘hero citizen’ thwarted a mass shooting planned for July 4 police say

One phone call saved countless lives and prevented a potential mass shooting during July 4 celebrations in Richmond, Virginia.
20 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Lighting Design

Check out these stunning lamps with stained glass shades

Lamps with stained glass shades are statement pieces that are more than simply aesthetic. They also meet a functional requirement: to light up a room.
Address Bar of internet browser shows internet access...
AARP Utah

Utah Voters 50+ Support Increased Access to Internet

The AARP surveyed Utah voters aged 50 plus about internet access and if they support the expansion of broadband, especially in rural areas currently lacking it.
hand holding 3d rendering mobile connect with security camera for security solutions...
Les Olson

Wondering what security solutions are right for you? Find out more about how to protect your surroundings

Physical security helps everyone. Keep your employees, clients, and customers safe with security solutions that protect your workplace.
Many rattan pendant lights, hay hang from the ceiling.Traditional and simple lighting....
Lighting Design

The Best Ways to Style Rattan Pendant Lighting in Your Home

Rattan pendant lights create a rustic and breezy feel, and are an easy way to incorporate this hot trend into your home decor.
Earth day 2022...
1-800-GOT-JUNK?

How Are You Celebrating Earth Day 2022? | 4 Simple Ways to Celebrate Earth Day and Protect the Environment

Earth Day is a great time to reflect on how we can be more environmentally conscious. Here are some tips for celebrating Earth Day.
Get Money Online...

More Ways to Get Money Online Right Now in Your Spare Time

Here are 4 easy ways that you can get more money online if you have some free time and want to make a little extra on the side.
Majority Of NY Assembly Would Oust Cuomo If He Doesn’t Quit